Rodney Times : February 6th 2014
www.rodneytimes.co.nz NEWS RODNEY TIMES, FEBRUARY 6, 2014 Bike-wise events coming HUNDREDS of cyclingrelated events around the country celebrate Bike Wise Month, expected to exceed last year’s figure of 75,000 participants. These include familyfriendly festivals, competitive races, women’s only events, cycle skills training and even a series of Big Bike Tune Ups where mechanics do free bicycle maintenance and safety checks. ‘‘Bike Wise Month features plenty of opportunities for Kiwis to get involved in cycling,’’ NZ Transport Agency road safety director Ernst Zollner says. ‘‘With more people out on bikes over the summer it’s also an ideal time to remind drivers and people who cycle to look out for each other, be considerate and share the road safely.’’ The NZTA launched a Share the Road education and advertising campaign designed to personalise and humanise people cycling. Cyclists are also encouraged to brush up on the official cycling code. Safety tips include watching for car doors opening, pot holes, rubbish, grates, and other hazards, not holding up traffic flow, clear signalling and wearing high visibility or brightly coloured clothing. Drivers are urged to watch out for people on bikes, slow down and wait if necessary before passing when it is safe. Visit bikewise.co.nz, search facebook.com/bikewise and twitter.com/ bikewisenz for more. Jason Searle, 40. Majority good. The Silverdale rider started cycling about three years ago for fitness. ‘‘You get the odd idiot but the majority of people are really good. ‘‘Tolerance is important. ‘‘More drivers are aware (of cyclists) these days. ‘‘I do a lot of solo riding and have no issues because I’m by myself. People take exception to a bunch rather than a single rider. People are in so much of a hurry they see a group of cyclists and their blood pressure goes up.’’ Jarrod Harris, 35. Most cyclists are motorists too. The Dairy Flat rider has been cycling since school days and racing for the past five years and hasn’t suffered any serious injury. ‘‘I’ve had stuff thrown at me and cars swerve towards me. A truck made us stop in Riverhead by leaving no room between it and a parked car even though the rest of the road was clear. ‘‘The later in the day and further west you go the worse it gets.’’ Jarrod rides a motorcyle and says that’s safer than cycling. Brian Donjeany, 49. Back slapped. The Stanmore Bay recreational rider has had three crashes in 17 years of cycling in New Zealand. ‘‘I rode in South Africa for years with no problems. I ride for the joy of it, the company and the coffee.’’ Brian wears bright clothing and has bike lights but says fluoro is not essential. ‘‘It’s generally very good on the roads but about three weeks ago one of a bunch in a car whacked me on the back and they drove off. ‘‘I report any dangerous driving.’’ Cameron Fisher, 48. Dragged about 50 metres. The Red Beach recreational rider cycles most days. ‘‘I try to get out at least once at the weekend, usually Sunday at 6.30am when there’s less traffic, and do about 120km. ‘‘I was taken out before a round Lake Taupo ride at Riverhead when a ute dragged me about 50 metres. When he realised I was in trouble he pulled over. The bike had about $2000 in damages. I was grazed under an arm and had leg abrasions, but nothing major. Stephen Patterson, 54. Treat people right. The Orewa recreational rider has been cycling about 30 years to keep fit and for the social side. He rides some weekdays and on Sundays. ‘‘I’ve had a couple of offs. One was in Orewa when a car cut a corner and I bailed on to the kerb and came off but I wasn’t injured. I ride with lights and a bright jacket. Most motorists are good, there’s only about 1 per cent of drivers that are abusive. I don’t react to them, it’s not worth it. Treat people on the road like you want to be treated.’’ Cyclists still not being seen by cars finds review Cycling safety was the subject of a coronial review in November into 13 fatal crashes. Seven of the cyclists were recreational and six were riding for transport, coroner Gordon Matenga heard. Eight were male, five female and the average age was 46.8 years. Ten cases involved collisions with vehicles. Seven of those were due to driver error and three were the cyclist’s fault, and 10 riders were wearing high visibility clothing. In five cases the motorist failed to see the cyclist, despite three of them wearing high visibility reflectorised clothing. Only one of the 13 cyclists wasn’t wearing a helmet – and that rider was intoxicated, Mr Matenga says. He found that cyclists are wearing appropriate gear but driver ability to see and recognise a cyclist remains an issue. An Intro to Road and Everyday Cycling Programme is being run over a month for about 500 Orewa College year 7 and 8 students. They are participating in safety checks, obstacle courses and skill development to enable them to be safer and more aware when riding. In the afternoon Safer cycling: Hamish Lockie, front, was on the road on Monday applying his new bike skills. the group has a road ride around Orewa practising their skills. Harbour Sport is running the programme after the Orewa College Travelwise team considered some students needed more safety skills, particularly where parents were not confident letting them ride to school. The college hopes to see an increase in students riding to school to help ease traffic problems. IN BRIEF Head1 3 Traffic held up Major traffic delays on Friday night were an unwelcome introduction to the weekend for many after a truck crashed on State Highway 1 near Dairy Flat. A small truck crashed on the southbound lane of the motorway around 4.30pm. The truck turned over but the driver was unhurt. The road was blocked while emergency services cleared the lanes. 4WD rolls A man in his 20s rolled his 4WD at Muriwai Beach on Saturday night. Firefighters had to work quickly to free the trapped man to beat the incoming king tide. The driver was taken by the Westpac rescue helicopter to Auckland Hospital in a serious condition. Man charged Police investigating a van crash that killed two young people in Kumeu last August have charged the driver. Ashley Walsh, 20, and Tye Gibbs, 19, died after the van crashed on Old North Rd. The police Waitemata serious crash unit has completed its investigation and a 22-year-old man has been charged with two counts of driving with excess blood alcohol causing death. He will appear in the Waitakere District Court on February 25. Bike injury A man who fell off his bicycle in Matakana suffered spinal injuries on Friday evening was taken by the Westpac rescue helicopter to Auckland Hospital. $500,000 won A $500,000 Lotto first division winner bought the ticket at the appropriately named Woody’s Winners in Wellsford.
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